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Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Pleasing God

Last July I opened up and talked about my walk with God.  That post has received a lot of positive response and emails, as well as having led to an email pen-pal.  I know that religion and God are not important to all of my readers, but it is central in my life and I'm not going to hide this side of me.  Part of the reason for this blog has always been and will always be to show the human aspects of life as a vet.  And all of this brings us to an email I received a few weeks ago from Gina.

I just wanted to say Thank You! I read your blog on Rachel's email it has inspired me! I am glad there are true Christian vets out there I was beginning to feel like I was going into a faithless field. But I'm encouraged by your testimony. I too am wanting to become a veterinarian, it's a passion I know God has placed in my heart. I too am a new born in Christ. Now because of Christ I feel like I can actually accomplish the dream. Not sure where to start though, any suggestions? My question however is how do you feel being a Vet pleases God, as the true calling in your life?

Here's an interesting thing.  Personally I don't think that being a vet is my true calling from God.  Over the years I have gotten involved in various aspects of ministry and now help lead a ministry group (Fans For Christ), which is what I think God's real purpose for me is.  As I often say, being a vet is what I do, not who I am.  I certainly do believe that God has given me interests, talents, and other gifts related to veterinary medicine that allows me to be successful and well liked in my field.  Yes, I have worked hard to get where I am, but the doors have opened because of God, and my mind and personality were shaped by Him, so ultimately I give Him the thanks.  However, I think that my experience in this profession has lead me to be in the right places for God to use me in other ways.  For example, if I hadn't moved to Georgia because of my job I wouldn't be as involved in Fans For Christ as I currently am.  My training and experience as a practice manager has helped me in handling the challenges of leading a very diverse group of people.

But God wanted me to be a vet and lead me to this profession, so I'm sure that there is a reason for this.  When I'm at work I try to keep in mind that as a Christian I may be the only Bible that people read.  I need to conduct myself around staff and clients in a way that is pleasing to Christ, while also remembering humility.  I try to be a "servant leader" as Jesus has described, where I lead by trying to do things for others.  I pray for my patients, especially for very sick ones.  I ask God for help with difficult surgeries and thank Him afterwards.  And when it is appropriate, I bring God into conversations with clients.

Jesus was a healer, and I think that medical professionals of all sorts follow in Christ's footsteps, though obviously we cannot perform miracles.  But ultimately whether or not I please God has to do with my heart, actions, and words as opposed to my specific abilities as a doctor.  God wants me to do my best in my profession, but it doesn't matter to Him if someone is a better diagnostician or can do more complicated surgeries.  It is more important if I follow what is outlined in Matthew 22:37-40....Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’  All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”  Basically love God and love others.  If I do this in the way that the Bible teaches, then I will please my Lord, even if I can't save every patient.


  1. Wow! What an amazing post! I have been reading your post for some time, being a vet in Nashville, I find comfort and humor in fellow veterinarians blogs. It's nice to know I am not alone! As for your post, thank you. I am a fellow Christian and live also by the principle that I may be the only bible someone reads. I also have the same desire that, while I am a vet, God has called me to do more. This was a struggle for some time because the belief of being a vet is " who I am" happens so easily due to hours and work thay goes into it. Last year, God opened the door for my husband and I to work/lead the college ministry at our church -- this completely took our faith to the next level. It was wonderful to read tour post especially since I struggled so much last year finding that " how to be a christian and serve/being a vet" life balance. Anazing when following His will and it all comes together. Thank you for this post, it was ehat I needed to hear. Just out of curiosity, will you be going to tge music city conference next month for CE?

    1. And I promise I know how to spell...I hate using my phone to type messages! Forgive me for the errors!

  2. Every choice in our lives shapes us in to the kind of person that we become. I for one am glad that Dr. Bern chose to become a Vet, because of that choice, God brought us together. It has not always been easy and there have been times when both of us have wished that we could just throw up our hands and get away from it( last minute emergencies drive me crazy because he is so late getting home), but through all the ups and downs, God has shown us His hand and allowed us to serve Him in ways we never imagined. I once told my darling husband how I always thought that I would marry a "preacher". When in reality I did, as God call all of us to go out and preach the gospel by how we live our lives. I am so proud of my husband and am thankful that he has a job where he can both rely on the strength of God and be a witness to those that he comes in contact with.

  3. My wife (that's who Stacey is if you couldn't figure it out) is a wise woman. Obviously God did have it in mind for me to become a vet, because even if it's not my primary calling it has opened up opportunities in ministry and to have a wonderful family.


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